Social Anxiety Counselling
Everyone has experienced a tense and skittish feeling while giving a presentation at work or school or while meeting someone new. One’s palms might start to sweat during a job interview. That’s because speaking in front of a large crowd and meeting someone new isn’t quite delightful and exciting. On some level, everyone has experienced social anxiety but when this state lasts for more than 6 months and starts jeopardizing your career and life, it must be treated accordingly and is not to be neglected.
What is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety is a mental health condition. Also referred to as social phobia is a condition which bestows a constant fear of being judged, humiliated, and rejected by others. People experiencing social anxiety tend to be exceedingly self-conscious and overthink every situation. They are likely to worry about events that have not even occurred yet.
The terror of being watched by others is so enormous in a person suffering from a social anxiety disorder that even the simplest of daily chores become a struggle for life. For example, eating at a public place, using public restrooms, talking to waiters and cashiers at the market and all other interactions with unknown people require every ounce of will power one possesses.
Social anxiety disorder is a very serious situation and must not be taken lightly. Social anxiety can affect a person’s job, grades and if help is not sought social anxiety is likely to jeopardize a person’s life altogether. One might not able to perform to their actual potential in a job interview and thus might not be recruited for the job. Similarly, students might not be able to ask questions and this might affect their grades.
Others might not be terrorized by social interactions with unknown people rather they possess self-loathing behavior. This makes one excessively conscious of their performance while taking pictures, going to parties, playing sports, or singing. This makes people think that they will never be good enough at everything and anything they do and in most cases, they end up not doing the thing want to do or would love to do.
How to find a Social Anxiety Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Social Anxiety therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a Social Anxiety therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
A person suffering from social anxiety is detected easily among others due to the physical and behavioral symptoms one manifests. The symptoms of social anxiety are as follows:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Fidgeting with fingers or any other object at hand (e.g mobile phone, pen, etc.)
- Sweaty palms
- Feeling dizzy
- Stuttering while speaking to others
- Trembling or shivering
- Sickening of stomach/ stomach pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Being very conscious of one’s surroundings
- Trying not to catch the attention of others
- Memory loss
- Low self-esteem
Causes of Social Anxiety
Just like all other mental health disorders, the precise and explicit cause of social anxiety is also unknown. But recent studies suggest that this condition develops at a young age and the factors that can contribute are:
- Past traumatic event or events that occurred in the life of a person.
- Bullying is one of the major reasons for the development of social anxiety in people. Almost everyone that suffers from this condition has been bullied at some point in life.
- Another major cause of social anxiety may be sexual assault. Sexual assault wrecks havoc on a person that has suffered from it and the social anxiety resulting from it can be so immense that it might even lead to suicidal thoughts.
- Other studies have shown that social anxiety runs in the family as well.
Recommended Treatments for Social Anxiety
Social anxiety can be treated with various effective means. Some treatments include counseling, therapy, medication, and meditation.
Therapy is very useful while treating social anxiety because talking to someone that will not judge you and will not reject you is always a means of relieving stress. The therapist makes the patients feel good by casually complimenting them. This makes the patients feel worthy of attention, love, and care. They can also help you understand your problematic behaviors and teach you new ways to overcome your social anxiety. The coping mechanisms therapy teaches often give lasting benefits and help you improve over time.
Another very effective form of therapy is group therapy. For people that are afraid of interactions, group therapy proves very useful as they now interact with people facing the same problem as their’s without the terror of being judged, humiliated, and rejected.
The treatment varies from person to person. Some patients are given medication in addition to therapy so they can start experiencing the results at a faster rate. The medications usually include anti-depressants that can help them calm their anxiety to perform better in social situations.
However, it is to be noted that anti-depressants come with their side-effects as well. So, consider the pros and cons of taking such medications with your psychiatrist.
Meditation is also a constructive way to treat social anxiety. Like the body need exercise to remain fit the mind needs meditation. It has also shown to relieve depression and reduce anxiety thus making you more attentive to the present moment and pulling you out of your negative spiral of thinking. Even a couple of minutes of mindfulness meditation each can day can show amazing benefits. The soothing feeling one gets from meditation has proven to be very effective in curing any form of anxiety.
Social anxiety is a very serious mental condition and should not under any circumstances be taken lightly. It is very hard for people suffering from this condition to come forward and ask for help, so this puts a responsibility on society to help such people. So we as a society should keep our eyes open and help people in any way possible that are suffering from social anxiety or any other form of mental disorder.
Further Readings on Social Anxiety
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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